Wireless router or wireless access point is the most important device you need when setting up wireless network.
You use wireless router when you are going to build your first network at home together with DSL or Cable modem. If you already set up Ethernet wired network at home, you can just get a wireless access point and connect it to network to expand the network with wireless connection capability. Our focus in this tutorial is on wireless router, however you can check out this wireless access point usage article if you plan to use this network device.
Now let’s turn to wireless portion on your computer or notebook.
Wireless Adapter for Computer Users
You need to have wireless adapter installed on your desktop computer in order to join wireless network. It’s just a PCI card with antenna which can be inserted to your computer motherboard. If you don't like PCI wireless adapter, then you can use USB wireless adapter as shown below.
Wireless PCMCIA card for Notebook Users
If you have notebook with built-in wireless adapter (which is very common nowadays), then you are ready to connect to wireless network. It’s just that simple, don't need any additional hardware.
If you are using other non-wireless ready notebooks, then you will need to install wireless PCMCIA card for accessing wireless network.
Some wireless PCMCIA card provides 50% greater range than standard 802.11g and support maximum bandwidth performance of 108 Mbps.
USB Wireless Adapter
If you have several desktop computers or notebooks, and you want to share wireless adapter with other computers sometimes, then you can consider to use USB wireless adapter. It's handy to be shared, ie. you can just unplug USB wireless adapter from notebook and plug it to the computer for connecting to wireless network. The size of this adapter is pretty small and it looks like USB thumb drive.